Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News, August 22, 2018
In 2016, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau, there were approximately 73,586,000 people under 18 in the United States, and 38,365,000 of them — or 52.1 percent — resided in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.
These included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.
The Census Bureau published its data on the number and percentage of persons living in households that received means-tested government assistance in its Current Population Survey Detailed Tables for Poverty.
When examined by age bracket, persons under 18 were the most likely to live in a household receiving means-tested government assistance (52.1 percent), while those 75 and older were least likely (18.8 percent).
But Americans in all the age brackets up to age 44 analyzed by the Census Bureau were more likely to be living in a household that received means-tested government assistance than the overall national rate of 35.9 percent.
For those 18 to 24 years old, the rate was 40.1 percent; for those 25 to 34, it was 36.8 percent; and for those 35 to 44, it was 37.4 percent.
For those 45 to 54, it dropped down to 30.6 percent — below the 35.9 percent overall rate.
But even when the Census Bureau excluded the school lunch program from its calculations, the percentage of those under 18 who lived in a household receiving means-tested assistance (44.8 percent) exceeded the percentage in any other age bracket.
America has now seen four straight years — 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 — during which a majority of those under 18 lived in a household taking means-tested benefits.
Among children under 18 in families where a female householder was living without a spouse, 78.0 percent were in households on means-tested government assistance (69.8 percent excluding the school lunch program).
Among children under 6 years of age living in families where a female householder was living without a spouse, 81.8 percent were in households on means-tested assistance (77.7 percent excluding the school lunch program).